Sketch Pad: Popular Mechanics

Sketch Pad: Popular Mechanics
Our peek into the process of creating brilliant magazine and newspaper design from around the world.

Popular Mechanics, July 2012
Design Director: Michael Lawton
Senior Art Director: Peter Herbert
Associate Art Directors: Mike Ley, R. Scott Wells
Director of Photography: Allyson Torrisi

The wonderfully rich and layered print pages of Popular Mechanics sure don't come together by accident. Design Director Michael Lawton's process is hugely detail oriented, organized and collaborative. Here he explains how the opener of his July DIY "weekend" section evolved from notes on a page to final

1: Take Note:

1 PopMechCompNotes.jpg

This is the starting point for any design at PopMech. These are notes (and others) for our new single page "Reboot" section opener titled "Weekend". This page now opens our back of book core DIY content.

2: Formatting Sketch Ideas

2 PopMechCompSketches.jpg

3: Tightening up the sketch

3 PopMechCompTighter.jpg

4: The Markup

4 PopMechCompFirstBuild.jpg

Building the comp and first markups. After sketching the page a few times I realized that it might be a good idea to not lock into a set position for the "Weekend" title box design. The design can now shift positions each issue to keep the design fresh for the reader and of course accommodate different image formats and content.

5: The Final Page

5 PopMechFinalPage.jpg

Final page. This is one of the four designs that a I start with and adjust each month

  • Daniel


  • evonylemon

    I am very happy that designing work starts at the very root level with a plane paper and pen which is the most effective way to build new innovative designs.

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  • Justin Patrick Long

    Good work PM team! Reboot looks amazing...engaging, and rich design. Well done.

  • Student Editors

    This. Is. Awesome.

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